AP Capstone Expands to Include LASI Students

AP Capstone students evaluate a classmate’s presentation on financial instability in the modern era.    Photo Credit: Haseeb Khan

AP Capstone students evaluate a classmate’s presentation on financial instability in the modern era.

Photo Credit: Haseeb Khan

By ALICE YEE and YESENIA PEREGRINA

The barrier among the programs has broken. AP Capstone, which was recently extended to the Humanities program, will now be open to LASI students after five years of being solely offered to Medical Science students.

AP Capstone is a two-year course that consists of AP Seminar and AP Research. Both are courses that allow students to develop skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, and writing.

“I believe everyone should have the opportunity to take the class because the curriculum revolves around topics [students] care about,” said Mr. Kamil Kraszewski, a Capstone teacher.

Likewise, Principal Michael McDonnell believes that “every student needs to be included” and that Capstone should be recommended to any student who is up for the challenge.

With the help of students who fill out their lunch forms, Capstone was able to expand to the LASI and Humanities program. The Title I funding obtained from the lunch forms allows the school to increase the classes it offers.

Ms. Suzane Thomas, the assistant principal of English, said that juniors and seniors in the LASI program who received a 90 or above on the English Regents were selected to be in the first AP Seminar class. For the Humanities program, students applied by filling out the required track selection form. The students received the selection form at a meeting that Mr. McDonnell had with all Humanities students to discuss potential sophomore tracks; AP Capstone was one of the options. 

Initially, Capstone was only given to Medical Science students because they were already given the opportunity of a research track in their sophomore year.

“As the College Board was developing the program, the thought was that Capstone would greatly support Med Sci students with their scientific research,” explained Mr. Kraszewski.

Since Medical Science students were already writing a research paper for their science elective, the program would also help them earn more credit for what they were already doing. 

The expansion to Humanities has allowed for more students to receive awards to help them stand out on college admissions as well as have the opportunity to earn college credit. Humanities students are now capable of receiving an AP Capstone diploma or an AP Seminar and Research Certificate by earning a score of three or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. LASI students don’t yet have this option because they only have AP Seminar. 

“The plan is to expand AP Research to all programs so that all three tracks can be the same,” said Mr. Kraszewski. “Medical Science, Humanities, and LASI students will soon all be enrolled in the same research classes.”

Mr. Mark Dickinson, the AP Seminar teacher for Humanities said, “This class is helpful for everyone. It’s a class for anyone interested in exploring an idea deeply and sharpening their reading and writing skills. It’s the type of course that, if I would’ve taken it in high school, it would’ve better prepared me for college.”

NewsCasey Levinson